Submitted Date 07/30/2019

Age 38, Durham, North Carolina, 1983
My first computer was like the one in the picture. It was 64k, used a TV for a screen and a tape drive to save data. The computer had a built-in BASIC computer language for running programs and writing programs.
-- This is one poem, from my autobiographical series of poems, that I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my Stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

Meta- (from the Greek), is a prefix...
meaning transcending, or going above and beyond.

~ PC Magazine ~

For words are to thought what tools are to work;
the product depends largely on the growth of the tools.

~ Will Durant, "History of Civilization: Part 1" ~

You might find it odd
to read a poem about computers
- bits, bytes, and Boolean -
but I will do just that

all at once in '83
cheap computers were everywhere
and in all the stores
some kid had tweaked the thing
so it repeated his name
"Chris Jordan was here Chris Jordan was here Chris Jordan was here..."
graffiti and
the urge to declare existence
now entering the electronic age

and I thought
"Well, if a kid can do that..."
so I watched youngsters in these stores
punching text commands in BASIC
as the early computers required

after a couple of weeks I typed in:

10 print "Rick did it "
20 goto 10

and like fireworks
"Rick did it Rick did it Rick did it Rick did it"
filled the screen
side to side and top to bottom
scrolling endlessly
until a sales clerk pulled the plug

that night I could not sleep
my dream world was pixelated
broken into computer bits

the digital world was calling

in spite of what my friends said
- that computers were just a passing fad -
I took a sharp right turn
and went from cameras and f/stops
to RAM and ROM

I cannot tell you
what I understood at the time
but it was something about
a digital common denominator
of the future
about power tools for the mind


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  • Ceara 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    about power tools for the mind
    I love this and the earlier quote by Will Durant. Thank you for sharing!

    • Rick Doble 1 month, 2 weeks ago

      We take computers for granted now, but early on they were a kind of oddity.